Weird experience while testing bows

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by MrSidecar, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. I am currently trying out bows to replace my Dürrschmidt bow I’ve had ever since I started playing. I’ve been there once before but never got around to actually buying a new one.

    Since I was totally amazed by them last I tried, I am having 4 different Prochownik bows at the moment (ranging from 116 to 130 grams) in trial at the moment. This has so far been kind of a trip, to be honest.

    It started with me being quite happy for all of them, albeit not as blown away as last time I tried Prochowniks. I will try other bows in other price ranges as well, since I am looking for “the last bow I am buying”. I am also learning that Prochownik has more or less stopped making bows and is retired, so these four are “as good as it gets”.

    Anyway. Gradually, I grew more and more disappointed by the four sticks, since they somehow began to play quite difficult and screechy, with all too many unmanageable overtones and a rather unpleasant brittleness to them. I used Nymans rosin since that was what I have been using literally all my bass playing life.

    But, being massively turned off by the bows, and figuring the one unknown factor was the rosin, I called Prochownik’s European contact in Cologne. She told me that when I got the bows, they had Pop’s on.

    So I bought a cake of Pop’s. Lo and Behold, they are back to their standard again, playing much easier without screeching or overtone madness, drawing a beautiful huge tone. What?! Can this make such a difference?? I am very sure I haven’t used too much Nyman’s.

    Does anybody in the crowd here have any idea what that was? Am I delusional? Do the two rosins behave badly together? How am I supposed to find out?

    Best
    sidecar
     
  2. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Gold Supporting Member

    I would guess that it is the "newness" of the rosin, rather than the "brand", that is responsible for the drastic improvement. Your old cake of Nymans might be dried-out and difficult to apply. IMO.
    I think any residual rosin that has been on the hair for days/weeks/months becomes ineffective and counter-productive to the addition of new rosin. Have you tried using a VERY Clean cloth to wipe the bow hair (under tension, back and forth, briskly), and remove the old rosin? I do this everyday, with very good results.
    (FYI - I've melted and mixed Pops and Nymans into a hybrid blend with excellent results. See some of my Rants/Threads in this Forum, if you're interested.)
    Thanks for your time and interest.
     
    CaseyVancouver likes this.
  3. Don,

    I realize I haven’t said anything about this- but the Nymans is brandnew as well. But maybe it was too much (even though I don’t think so). In any case, thanks for the wipedown tip- I’ll definitely try that.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
    Don Kasper likes this.
  4. Just because the cake came home with you today doesn’t mean it wasn’t sitting on a shelf for a year.

    Don, I just tried your trick. Major difference in response and sound. Thanks! I’d much rather use this method than acetone. Sue Lipkins cringed audibly when I told her that I usually use a solvent.
     
    Don Kasper and Mgaisbacher like this.
  5. bassfiddlesteve

    bassfiddlesteve Your first second choice™ Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    I've found that Nymans and Pops don't mix well. They sort of cancel each other out.

    - Steve
     
    Groove Doctor and the_Ryan like this.
  6. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    OP - did you wind up getting a bow??
     
  7. LouisF,

    not yet. I’m taking a very extensive test where I play each of them exclusively for a few days. I’m eager to try wiping all rosin off and reapplying either pops or Nyman. Plus, I might very well put some other alternatives to the mix- Jordan Scapinello lives rather near to me, and his bows have a small but exceptional reputation. They are roughly twice the price, but in the bow world, I have always found that quality and price are directly proportional. (With the exception of Prochowniks, they seem considerably better than their price tag suggests).

    As I said, I’d rather spend a little bigger and end up with a “bow for life” than keeping it cheaper and ending with a new-bow-itch 10 years from now.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
    Phil Rowan likes this.
  8. Wiping both the hair and the strings clean definitely makes a difference- much easier to play and much smoother, yet at least as big, sound. Thanks for the hint, Don Kasper!

    Best
    Sidecar
     
    John Chambliss and Don Kasper like this.
  9. slappahdabass

    slappahdabass Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2013
    Milwaukee, WI
    I've had the same experience. The only two rosins I've used that seem to be mutually exclusive.
     
    Steve Boisen likes this.
  10. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    +1 on Jordan's bows. I got to try one out when I had a lesson with Brendan Kane of the MET orchestra, and was quite impressed (I ultimately went with a fantastic Les Korus bow, after months of bow trials in which I auditioned a ton of different sticks). @MrSidecar did you wind up with a bow yet, or are you still on the hunt?
     
  11. Bow hair is horsehair and can be shampooed. Last month I got a really nice Raposo whose hair was absolutely CAKED with rosin to the point where it was a solid mass.

    Remove screw and frog, dip hair in warm water, later up with unscented shampoo, run a fine-toothed comb through it to remove large particles, rinse and repeat as necessary. Dry gently with a cotton towel and hang it up to dry thoroughly. Then you get to re-rosin! Fun! /sarc
     
  12. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Baby shampoo, right?
     
  13. That’s what I used, hence the multiple lathers.
     
  14. Phil,

    I haven't bought a bow yet- I've sent the Prochowniks back.
    mid-march or early-april is the time I'm going to receive 4 Scapinellos to try. Needless to say I am thrilled.
    Best
    Sidecar
     
    John Chambliss and Phil Rowan like this.
  15. Soon this beauty will be on its way to me...

    56111037-FB59-4384-982C-0CC6C97358F2.jpeg ED5FEB47-9DA5-4223-A2CB-897C0D556844.jpeg

    Best
    Sidecar
     

    Attached Files:

  16. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Weight? Details? Looks great!!
    Louis
     
  17. I wish I knew... I don’t know yet- it’s not even done. But, that’s part of the excitement of it.

    Best
    Sidecar
     
  18. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Oh the agony!!
     
  19. Yeah, it's crazy.
    Ending on the 20th.

    Sidecar